The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell 29-19 to the Washington Football Team on Sunday after glaring issues reared their heads for the Super Bowl champs. The offense got off to a woefully slow start with two first-quarter turnovers. The defense couldn’t get a stop late. And in between, mental errors galore reigned.
After the loss, coach Bruce Arians ripped his team.
“It has nothing to do with ability. It’s about execution and being a smart football team. We’re a very dumb football team. And that’s a reflection on the coaches,” Arians said, via ESPN’s Jenna Laine.
The prickly coach aimed his ire at every player, from Tom Brady on down. Tampa Bay was credited with three dropped passes. And the Bucs committed six penalties for 43 yards on the game, including an O.J. Howard false start on the first snap of the game.
“Energy and passion are very fixable,” Arians said. “The penalties — they’ve gotta get corrected sooner or later. The first play of the game — they’re shifting, and we jump offsides. They don’t even run a play, and we jump offsides. The stupidity has to go away if we’re gonna go anywhere.”
The Bucs tied a season-low with six points in the first half and a new season-low with just 136 total yards in the first half. Brady threw two interceptions in the first quarter.
Arians put the plays on TB12, noting they had “nothing to do with the receivers. It was him.” The critique of the G.O.A.T. — even as one INT was popped out of the hands of Jaelon Darden — was likely an indicator from Arians that no one was safe from criticism after the Bucs’ second straight loss.
The Bucs have lost two consecutive games for the first time since Weeks 11-12, 2020, which is also the last time Brady had two-plus INTs in consecutive games. Tampa Bay’s 10-point loss to Washington was also the largest defeat of Brady’s career coming off a bye (entered Sunday 15-4).
“We just never really played on our terms. We played behind the whole game. They played a good game. They had a good plan,” Brady said in a very brief media session following the loss. “It doesn’t matter who you play if you have a bunch of self-inflicted errors too. We’ve gotta go out and execute the plays that were there.”
The loss was a team effort, with the slow start on offense matched by a defense that couldn’t get off the field in the fourth quarter, allowing Washington to march for a 19-play TD drive that milked 10:26 off the clock to ice the game late.